1 Copper

Precision 5520 with Ubuntu

Wondering if there is a document that describes that correct set of drivers, packages, etc to reconfig a Precision 5520 with Ubuntu. Downloaded Recovery Image from Web site but this fails writing to nvmen0 SSD device

Seen the following with a native Ubuntu 16.04 ISO install:

- Failure to write grub to /nvmen0 when attempting to use full disk encryption

- Hang on boot (fixed by using acpi=off idle=nomwait from suggestion on reddit but not clear why needed)

- Missing display resolutions (particularly a set between UHD and 1080)

- Unable to see Wifi during initial install

Some of the above I have fixed by:

- Using Intel Kaby Lake microcode and Intel graphics drivers from

- NVidia-378 drivers

- libinput changes for touchpad 

- Enabling above proprietary drivers rather than nouveau for XWindows

- 1820 Wifi drivers (from dell image)

Is there a good document that describes what Dell uses to factory build a machine and location of correct drivers? Haven't found this anywhere on Dell support site and Dell telephone support said they only support Linux for 7 days (!).

3 Replies
1 Copper

RE: Precision 5520 with Ubuntu

Hi nycnewman,

did you receive an answer to this question on any other channel? It seems you posted your questions more than 5 months ago.

I would also be very interested to know the answers to these questions. I consider buying a Precision 5520 (full spec: UHD display, Xeon CPU, ...), but one of the most important criteria when I choose new laptops for my business is flawless Linux compatibility. Dell offering the Precision Laptops with Linux pre-installed is the main reason I consider switching to Dell, but only if that means that I can expect a high quality technical support, same as any Windows user. This includes Documentation about the necessary changes to stock Ubuntu 16.04 that allows me to install the OS on my own and lets me make an informed choice about installing any other Distribution.

I would also expect to be able to call the support hotline or get a timely response to support requests here on tech center. Did the hotline really tell you that Linux is only supported for 7 days? That would be a deal breaker for me, since it would send a clear signal to me as a customer that Linux support is not taken seriously by Dell.

I would really love to see Dell's Project Sputnik to gain more traction, after all it is a terrific endeavor endeavor to promote the use of Linux for Desktop users and as such unique among enterprise Laptop manufacturers.

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1 Copper

RE: Precision 5520 with Ubuntu

The official answer from Support still appears to be 7 days of software support and one year for hardware.

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RE: Precision 5520 with Ubuntu

Greetings Nycnewman and Fge42,

Thank you for your questions.

I did some searching around regarding the nvmen0 concern. I found this here:

That's the best I could find as encryption is out of scope for Dell, when speaking in the context Sputnik models.

Dell doesn't have a public document outlining Dell specific changes to the OS. You can likely look inside of the .debs to find out more. Further, there's no public Dell document regarding how to manage modules ( drivers ) for the OEM Ubuntu image.

In regards to the 7 days there are multiple levels of support: Basic Support, Premium Support and ProSupport. The 7 day period is for a specific situation under a specific level of support. I can explain it as follows: For systems that shipped with Ubuntu and Basic Support, Dell will support re installation of the OEM operating system within 7 days of delivery but only if the hard drive had to be replaced within that 7 days. Ubuntu units with Premium Support and ProSupport have OEM OS re installation support for the duration of the entitlement period purchased.

Justin C

Dell Technical Support L3 | Project Sputnik

Dell Support is also on Twitter!


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